Brian Carlson Returns to Action with the World of Outlaws After missing 13 events due to muscle and ligament damage to his left leg sustained in an accident during time trials on May 12 at Lake Ozark Speedway in Missouri, Brian Carlson returned...
Brian Carlson Returns to Action with the World of Outlaws
After missing 13 events due to muscle and ligament damage to his left leg sustained in an accident during time trials on May 12 at Lake Ozark Speedway in Missouri, Brian Carlson returned to action with the World of Outlaws on June 20 at Missouri State Fair Speedway.
In his first time racing in over a month, the native of Linden, Indiana won the second heat race on Wednesday night at the half-mile, which featured former World of Outlaws champions Danny Lasoski and Donny Schatz, as well as Joey Saldana, Stevie Smith, Brooke Tatnell and Jac Haudenschild. This earned Carlson a spot in the Crane Cams Dash, where he started second and finished fifth.
"It's nice to be back at the race track," said Carlson, driver of the Auto B. Good Maxim. "It was nice to watch the races on DIRTVision and I enjoyed that, but there is nothing like being at the track and being in the pit area."
For Carlson, who is one of the most hands on drivers in the pit area, the last month was spent gradually gaining strength back in his leg so he could return to the cockpit. After countless hours of physical therapy he began to regain his mobility and was able to return to the shop and began to prepare to return to the road with the World of Outlaws.
"I can't tell you how tough it is to have to sit at home when everyone is racing," shared the veteran driver. "The guys you are used to being with and working with are out here having fun and traveling across the country and you are sitting at home. You feel kind of helpless, especially being on crutches like I was. I'm glad to be back."
With the marvels of modern technology, Carlson was able to tune in to each and every event that he missed via DIRTVision.com and the DIRT Radio Network, with the award-winning call of Johnny Gibson, the World of Outlaws Announcer. He also was able to watch a number of races on SPEED, as well as the first event of the "SuperClean Summer of Money" on ESPN2 from Knoxville Raceway last weekend.
"The racing has been exciting this year, with the tire rule and some of the format changes," he noted. "It has been exciting to watch it on TV and DIRTVision."
Being a true racer, the only thing that Carlson could think about after the injury was returning to the track. The first event on the schedule after he sustained his injury was at Lernerville Speedway in Pennsylvania, where he grew up, which he hated to miss. Also an event right down the road from his home in Indiana at Kokomo Speedway was a tough one for him to have to sit on the sidelines for, but he knew it was the right thing to do.
"I really wanted to come back by Eldora (on June 2) since I knew we wouldn't have to really use the brakes there much other than to get into the pit area," said Carlson. "Kokomo was only an hour away from home and was really hard to stay away from there as well. Realistically though, I was not ready and I was still on crutches then."
The support that he received from fellow competitors and fans was overwhelming to Carlton. He is quick to point out how the racing community pulls together when someone is injured or in need.
"I have to thank all the fans for their support," he said. "I had a couple of hundred calls and emails in the first couple weeks we were home. It is great to see how much the racing community cares about the drivers."
Carlson and the rest of the World of Outlaws will be in action in the second event of the "SuperClean Summer of Money" this weekend in the Boot Hill Showdown Presented by MJE at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas. The second night of racing will air on Sunday, June 24 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, 11:30 a.m. Central on ESPN2.